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Sigulda

Travel Guide Europe Latvia Sigulda

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Introduction

Church in Sigulda

Church in Sigulda

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Sigulda is a city located in the Gauja National Park, about 53 kilometres northeast of Riga. Sigulda was a strategically important location during the medieval ages, boasting three castles in close proximity. The ruins of Turaida castle are now the most visited museum in Latvia. Its location next to the steep sandstone cliffs of the Gauja river gave it the nickname Latvia's Switzerland. It is now the outdoor activity capital of Latvia and home to a Olympic standard bobsleigh track.

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Sights and Activities

  • Turaida Castle ruins and Turaida Museum Reserve
  • Sigulda Castle ruins
  • Krimulda Castle ruins
  • Gutmanis Cave
  • Cable car ride over the Gauja

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Events and Festivals

  • Golden Autumn is the most popular time to visit Sigulda. When the leaves of the trees are changing colour the scenery is astonishing.

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Getting There

By Train

Latvian Railways has services to/from Sigulda about 10 times daily, a few less during weekends. A few trains continue to Cesis and Valga in Estonia. There are also a few other options to check timetables, prices etc, including the Latvian Passenger Trains website and the excellent 1188.lv website.
Trains run 3 times daily from Riga Central Station to Sigulda. The price of a one-way ticket is approximately 1 Lat.

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Getting Around

By Car

Sigulda is a small city and is easily navigable by car. Traffic jams have been known to occur on weekends in autumn as many people flock to the city to see the 'golden autumn.'

By Public Transport

Sigulda has a limited but reliable public bus network. The most useful bus for tourists it the #12, which runs from Sigulda centre to Turaida and Krimulda. Check out the timetable here.

By Foot

This is by far the best way to see Sigulda. There are a number of walking trails linking the 3 main sites, however most will involve a fair amount of descending and ascending the steep banks of the Gauja River valley, appropriate for the place known as Latvia's Switzerland.

By Bike

As well as walking trails, there are a number of bike paths and mountain bike trails in and around Sigulda, fitting its reputation as Latvia's adventure sport capital. Bike rental is available, but be prepared for some steep climbs.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
CathousePils iela 8APARTMENT-
Hotel SegevoldMalpils iela 4bhotel-
Sigulda HotelPils Street 6Hotel-
Kaķu mājaRaiņa iela 5aguesthouse-
ParksAtbrivotaju str.1, SiguldaHostel94
Reina trackKalnzaki Krimulda pag.Guesthouse-
Reinis GuesthouseKalnzaki, Krimulda p., Riga r.guesthouse-
SPA Hotel EzeriSigulda MunicipalityHotel-
Pils - SiguldaPils Iela 4bHOTEL-
Hotel Pils-SiguldaPils iela 4b, Siguldas novadsHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes in cities are popular and charge starting from 0.50L per hour. Free internet connections are available in all libraries. Free wifi is available in many cafes, libraries, and the Riga Airport. Most hotels will provide free wireless access spots for laptops.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Emergency numbers include 110 (police), 112 (fire), ambulance (113), but you can connect to all of them by using the general 112 number.

There are both fixed and mobile phone communications available in Latvia. The international telephone code for Latvia is +371 and all phone numbers (except for emergency numbers, some information numbers, hotlines etc.) consist of 8 digits. One should note that all mobile phone numbers start with "2", landline numbers start with "6".

For local communication, it is much cheaper to buy a local prepaid SIM card, which can include data as well as voice and text. These cards and separate renewal vouchers can be easily bought in gas stations, kiosks, or supermarkets. All brands are more or less equal in price and service. Popular brands include LMT, Tele2, and Bite. All prepaid SIM cards come with a manual in English, Russian, and Latvian.

To call from a public phone, you need a phone card (telekarte) which cost as little as €2. International calls are possible from every public phone.

Post

Latvijas Pasts is the national postal service of the country and has relatively fast, affordable and reliable services. They have both mail and express mail service, domestically and internationally. Prices for international mail start at around 0.45L for postcards within Europe, 0.50L outside Europe, stamps for letters are slightly more expensive. It usually takes at least several days up to a week within Europe, but around 10 days to North America for example. Domestic services are faster of course, usually within 2 days. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday, though large central post offices might keep slightly longer hours and can be open on Sunday sometimes. Latvian post boxes are colored yellow, and postage stamps can be bought in post offices or news-stands (kiosks). Specialized package services are provided as well by companies like DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS, among others.

Quick Facts

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Inhabitants
10.603
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 57.155004
  • Longitude: 24.858198

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This is version 18. Last edited at 7:27 on Jul 9, 14 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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